Annika Sorenstam experienced won consecutive commences on the LPGA Tour in 2008 when she introduced she would retire at the end of the period. The shock selection was however contemporary three weeks afterwards when 19-12 months-aged Yani Tseng gained her initially major.
Their paths cross again this week in a way handful of could have imagined.
The two are actively playing the Gainbridge LPGA.
That’s news for various causes.
Sorenstam turned 50 in Oct and has not competed on the LPGA Tour since the last celebration of 2008. Retirement never arrives conveniently in golf, and Sorenstam was amongst the couple who managed to walk absent at the peak of her recreation. Which is not to counsel this is the start off of a comeback, and she has not reported if everything else is in the will work.
The Swede performed the PNC Championship with her father in December and reported she was currently being determined to engage in additional because her son, Will, was having into golfing. She also played the LPGA Tour season opener final month, while Sorenstam was part of the celebrity division.
She talked in December about seeking to dabble in senior functions, specially mentioning the U.S. Senior Women’s Open up. Trouble is, which is all over the time of the Olympics, and Sorenstam just lately was appointed to a mostly ceremonial role of president of the Global Golf Federation.
This week at Lake Nona, her house system in Orlando, Florida, she’ll be in the field along with Jin Younger Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf.
Ko was 13 when Sorenstam retired.
I’m not confident I know Annika, just I listened to Annika is legend, Ko claimed. But I want to participate in with her this 7 days.
That is legitimate for most every person in the industry.
Sei Younger Kim, the No. 2 participant in the entire world, was as satisfied to hear Sorenstam would be enjoying as she was to get absent from her freezing property around Dallas.
If I have prospect, I want to perform with her simply because shes my idol when I was younger, Kim explained. I’m extremely happy to be pretty close to see her participate in.
And then there’s Tseng, who need to be in the key of her career.
She experienced no motive to imagine the terrific golf she performed at the commence of her vocation would not often be that way. Almost nothing ever lasts in this sport Jordan Spieth is the most current who could discuss to the highs and lows but few have plummeted as considerably or as speedily as Tseng.
Tseng was 22 when she gained her fifth important, making her the youngest player, male or female, to have that several majors at that age. She had 12 wins around the world in 2011. When she received the Kia Common in March 2012 for her 15th LPGA Tour title, she was 4 details small of the LPGA Corridor of Fame.
That was her last get.
Tseng reached No. 1 in the entire world and stayed there for 109 weeks, a streak 2nd only to Lorena Ochoa. And then she stopped winning. She stopped contending. She fell into the lure of wondering she had to live up to her No. 1 position devoid of recognizing that her activity is what introduced her there.
I was seeking at (what) I imagined earth No. 1 really should be, another person considerably far better than I am, Tseng said in the course of the midst of her toughest situations.
The very last LPGA event for the 32-year-previous was the Lotte Championship in Hawaii in April of 2019. She took a clinical exemption and went dwelling to Taiwan. Golfweek claimed that Tseng enrolled in a 10-day meditation retreat that meant no chatting, no desktops, no eye call. She cried for the initially five times.
I eventually allow it go, Tseng explained to Golfweek. I’ve been so challenging on myself.
She has been slowly but surely dipping her toes again into the h2o, and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to that. Tseng performed 5 periods over the 2nd fifty percent of 2020 on the Taiwan LPGA, missing a single reduce and failing to complete in the major 25. She performed one more Taiwan event at the begin of his 12 months, the Hitachi Females Common, where by the highest-ranked participant was No. 125.
Tseng, who returns this 7 days at No. 919 in the planet, tied for 55th.
Tseng employed to reside at Lake Nona she bought Sorenstam’s old property until finally moving to California for less complicated flights dwelling to Taiwan. This will be the very first major stage back, and it’s a very long road.
I think this is a comeback from the depths, explained Judy Rankin, a Corridor of Famer and longtime television analyst. “She did not have quite a few negative encounters. And then you get mired in tricky times. You get to exactly where even if you get a few beneath par, you see a black cloud.
She did a extremely intelligent factor to get away, Rankin extra. If she’s likely to uncover it once again, she’s taken a good route to consider a good split.”
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